Fall 2013, Issue 2
Just a few days ago, we had our first snow. It was lovely but it didn’t stick. It’s very early this year—the trees are still in their multi-colored coats of red and gold. And it’s cold. Fortunately, we have no more events or activities taking place outdoors.
To look back on what we’ve done since my last posting, October 6-8 we had a 3-day CIEE excursion to the port city of Busan on the southern coast to attend the 18th Busan International Film Festival, which screened nearly 300 films from countries all around the globe including many Korean films. To help students see more of the city, we had a scavenger hunt to introduce some of Busan’s historic sites and other attractions. The excursion was very successful and many students suggested it be made a regular fall event.
Scenes from the Busan International Film Festival
October 19, we had our excursion to the DMZ that separates North Korea and South Korea. We usually do the excursion during orientation, but this semester we had to reschedule the excursion. The day began with a lecture about the Korean War and the state of the armistice. We then boarded a chartered bus to travel north to the DMZ. Following lunch, we visited an observation point, toured an infiltration tunnel made by North Korea, and, the highlight of the day, visited the Joint Security Area where the armistice talks are held.
In early November, we had a half-day hike to the top of Mt. Inwangsan, one of Korea’s most sacred mountains, which is only a few bus stops from the CIEE Study Center. The mountain is dotted with historic and sacred sites and is well-known for its shaman shrines. We were lucky to happen upon a shaman ceremony.
Last weekend we had a field trip to a photo exhibition about the introduction of photography to Korea and its development up through modern times with a focus on sociological studies.
Our CIEE Seoul Mates and students harvested rice at an island in the Han River and they also had a K-Pop dance class together. These group activities are in addition to their regular individual meetings.
We have been having a night of Korean movies in the CIEE lounge every other Friday night since the first week of October. And, we have a paper-crafts class that is also being held every few weeks in the CIEE lounge.
Scenes from Paper-crafts Class
Thursday we celebrated American Thanksgiving early with turkey, ham, and all the trimmings.
Spotlighting a Student
Check out the following links to a newspaper article and YouTube video by CIEE participant Young Kim from Northeastern University. Young is interning at DailyNK, an online newspaper focusing on North Korea and North Korean refugees, defectors, and other related issues.